I’ve always enjoyed writing micro-fiction. First there was flash, stories under 1,000 words. Technically flash isn’t micro-fiction, but it was the gateway fiction that led me to micro. In other words, I tried it and I liked it. Next it was Six Sentences (http://sixsentences.blogspot.com/), stories that were exactly six sentences in length. They helped me to tighten my story arch even further.
After that came drabbles, stories of exactly 100 words. I noticed that many of the stories I was submitting to Six Sentences were right around 100 words, so a little tweaking here and there and presto! I had drabbles.
After drabbles, I discovered 55 words. It was a website based on a contest from the New York Times. That didn’t last long because they stopped taking user submissions, but still, I was able to tighten my stories even further.
Then came Six Word Memoirs (http://www.smithmag.net/sixwords/). I could say whatever I wanted to, as long as it was in exactly six words. There isn’t a submission/rejection process for this one, but they do highlight the best ones on their front page, and they even name a Six Word Memoirist of the Day.
Finally it was tweets, stories that were a mere 140 characters or less that could be posted on Twitter. I submitted several stories before my first tweet was finally accepted by Tweet the Meat (http://twitter.com/tweetthemeat). And this is what leads me to the point of my story.
Upon acceptance, I posted an announcement on my Facebook account, just like I do with all of my writing announcements. One of my friends posted a comment back that said, “That’s a good thing?”
In short, yes, it is. It’s not just a good thing, it’s a great thing! I had probably submitted 30 tweets before that one finally got accepted. But his comment highlighted what many may also be thinking. Well, as a writer, I write. Sometimes they’re tweets, sometimes it’s flash, and sometimes it’s a novel. The point is that I’m writing. And the micro-fiction is helping me tighten my prose. It also makes me submit and yes, get rejected. But that’s all part of the process. And it’s easier to have a tweet rejected because you don’t have the time investment in it that you have in a novel or even a short story.
So don’t let anyone tell you that micro-fiction isn’t real writing. It is. It serves a purpose, both for the author and for the reader. And if you get your micro-fiction accepted and published, it gets your name out there in front of a lot of people. So go on now, write that micro-fiction and be proud doing it!